Created on 30 June 2016

The Carer’s Act was passed earlier this year but is not currently being implemented.  Currently Scottish Ministers are considering what is called the Commencement Date.  This is the date when the everybody must start doing what the Act says.  This will definitely be by the end of 2017 but not all parts might be done at once.

Over the summer of 2016, we can expect to see the first draft regulations being published and people will be able to comment on these.  The Carers Act contain significant improvements to carer’s rights and support and will be expected to cost quite a bit more.  Some budgets have been set.   About £16 million for Year One rising to about £74 million in Year Four.  And there are promises that if more funds are needed to deliver this then they will be made available.

Important features of the Carers Act include:

  • Carers Assessments will be replaced by new assessments called Adult Carer Support Plans and Young Carers Statements.
  • Carers whose identified needs meet local eligibility criteria will have a right to support
  • Carers whose identified needs do not meet local eligibility criteria should still have access to other forms of support and information and advice and local authorities will still have a power to provide support.
  • The development of local eligibility criteria must involve consultation and involvement of carers and carer organisations.
  • Carers cannot be charged for any support they receive

 

A guest post from Carolan Connolly

Created on 18 May 2015

  • CARERS CENTRES IN GLASGOW OUT TO TENDERWhy are carers always the last to know about changes to services that affect them directly.  Our lives are already challenged in GLASGOW due to the forced Personalisation and SDS agenda affecting the lives of our loved ones which seen many of us seeking guidance and support through our local Carers Centres.NOW we learn they are all out for tender!………… WELL ACTUALLY ONLY A FEW CARERS KNOW,  THE MANY THOUSANDS WHO USE THESE SERVICES HAVE NOT BEEN TOLD. I myself found out by chance  and in accordance to the timeline thousands will not have their views considered. 
    The timeline and focus:
    *Focus Groups 11th 13th 14th May
    *Issues addressed by late August early September
    *The winning service/s will be in position by 1st October
    *The winning tender will be measured on 60% Quality and 40% Budget

    For many carers the centres offer them a life line and lets face it for us change is never good, it usually means cuts and a disservice.  So from now to October unpaid carers all over Glasgow will worry, be fearful and possibly stress over the unknown. All of the things usually alleviated by those very services now out for tender.

    I couldn’t believe it when i learned that the Council were being forced into this legally, WHY WOULD YOU FORCE SOMEONE TO FIX SOMETHING WHEN IT ISN’T BROKEN!………….. Are our lives not hard enough without messing around with services that in the main work for us!….

    I started to ask questions via social media (Facebook and Twitter) i was surprised to learn that not only were carers not consulted about this issue, it also seemed neither were many of our Councillors.

    Seeking guidance and support as a member of the National Care Organisations I discovered other carer members were also starting to stress over this issue and relieved when we learned that the Council have been mislead and are not being forced into the procurement of these services LEGALLY.

    GOOD NEWS!……….. or actually is this a decision that has already been made and the legal status was just  a front to make CUTS!…… to our vital and valued services. We start to learn of internal audits and the stress comes flooding back.

    I can’t even say this is a case of unpaid carers being CON-sulted out of our services because as far as i can see we have had no consultation at all.  This is an insult to the many thousands of unpaid carers throughout Glasgow. Just because we are CARE PROVIDERS offering FREE care and support to those in need does not mean you don’t need to consult with us, after all we are the SERVICE USERS of these services.

    Glasgow City Council ”PLEASE STOP MESSING AROUND WITH OUR LIVES THEY ARE DIFFICULT ENOUGH”!…………….

 

Assessing the Needs of Carers

Created on 05 January 2015

There was very little change in the types of assessment being used to look at the needs of carers.

Interestingly some councils said that they did not encourage Carers assessments and suggested that it was better to make sure carers were involved in the assessment of the cared person’s needs and there was no real demand for separate Carer’s Assessments.

East Dunbartonshire Council said “Most carers decline the offer of a separate assessment of their ability to continue to provide care, but almost always wish to have their views taken into account when assessing the needs of the person they care for.   Only 1 carer has had a separate carer assessment recorded since 1/4/14 and 84 carers were assessed jointly with the cared for person,” No carers were offered SDS in East Dunbartonshire.

2.1      Only One In Five Councils Offer SDS to Carers

In the first 4-5 months of Self Directed Support only 6 councils (18%) throughout Scotland could confirm that they were offering SDS support to carers.

Our information suggests that only 66 carers were offered support under the Self Direct Support regulations.  And of these only 33 actually got support put into place.

Table 2

Client Group

 

Carer assessments carried out since April 2014

 

Given the choice of the 4 SDS options

 

How many chose which option?
Option 1 Option 2 Option 3 Option 4
Carers 1372 66 3 18 12 0

The 6 councils were Angus, Clacks, East Ayrshire, Perth & Kinross, Shetland Islands and West Lothian.

However only 4 of these councils could tell us which of the 4 SDS options were offered to the carers.  Both Shetland and Angus confessed that “We do not currently have a robust system to collate this information but it is something we are going to introduce as part of a review of our assessment and case management process.”

Nonetheless is good to see that 4 councils had taken steps to introduce the flexible Option 2, “Individual Service Fund” for carers to be able to extend their range of choices without having to take time out of their limited spare time to become accountants and project managers.

All 6 councils are small town, semi-rural council areas, areas in which a lot of reliance has always been placed on carers.  This may suggest that SDS has been an opportunity where good practice already

exists in work for carers but in areas where carers have been treated as a resource and not as partners, less has been developed in SDS.

2.2      Carers Missed Out

Because the opportunity to help carers was only a “power” and not a “duty”, Scottish councils may offer a carer’s assessment but are not required to offer carers support in their own right.

Glasgow City Council carries out two types of assessments on carers.   1,382 carers were given a simple Screening Assessment and then 111 carers went onto a full assessment in the time period covered.  Those needing help were signposted to information and advice but none were offered the SDS options.  Carers “are not offered options 1-4 as [carers] are not considered to fall within scope of the personalisation process.”

Borders Councils was clear SDS for carers “is not currently an option.”   As the decision to offer SDS to carers is up to the local council then this is a lawful response.   They don’t have to offer support – but if they do they have to offer the SDS options.

Despite the money given by the Scottish Government to help local authorities prepare for the implementation of SDS, often little has happened to prepare SDS for carers.  Edinburgh City Council received £1.7 million and invested significant funds from its own resources to prepare for April 2014.  They replied to our request saying “None of [those who have had a carer’s assessment] will have been offered any of the 4 options, as no services within scope of the current self-directed support arrangements would be offered.”